Dr Surindar Kishen Dhesi PhD, MPH, Grad IOSH, Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner

Dr Surindar Kishen Dhesi

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Lecturer, Occupational Health, Safety and Environment

Contact details

Address
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Dr Surindar Dhesi is an environmental health lecturer, researcher and active practitioner and leads the MSc Science of Occupational Health, Safety and Environment course. She has several years’ experience of working in Local Authority enforcement roles, including a period on secondment to the Health and Safety Executive. She has also worked as a consultant in the private sector. Her NIHR-funded doctoral research explored how English Health and Wellbeing Boards were approaching the task of tackling health inequalities, with a focus on the role of environmental health. Her current research interests include environmental health conditions within the refugee camp in Calais, France, and health and wellbeing and planning policy analysis in England.

Qualifications

  • PhD  ‘Exploring how Health and Wellbeing Boards are tackling health inequalities, with a focus on Environmental Health’- University of Manchester
  • MSc Public Health- Oxford Brooked University
  • NEBOSH Diploma
  • BSc Environmental Health- Kings College, University of London

Biography

Surindar is an environmental health lecturer, researcher and active practitioner. As a Lecturer at the University of Birmingham, she leads the MSc in the Science of Occupational Health Safety and the Environment programme and also teaches on the MSc in Environmental Health, MSc in Public and Environmental Health Science courses. She also leads the research methods and dissertation, occupational health and safety, and public health integration modules.

She completed her NIHR-funded PhD in 2014 under the supervision of Dr Anna Coleman, Dr Kath Checkland, and Prof Steve Harrison in the Health, Policy, Politics and Organisation (HiPPO) group at the University of Manchester. Her research focused on how new English Health and Wellbeing Boards were approaching tackling health inequalities, with a focus on the role of environmental health. She used qualitative methods to follow four case study sites over a period of 18 months, and also carried out interviews with environmental health practitioners and managers from each English region.

Key findings were around the ‘invisibility’ of the environmental health profession within the public health communities in which they operate. Related to this is the role of evidence-informed practice in environmental health; as relationships are established with other public health colleagues who have recently transferred into the local government setting, and have different ways of working. Other findings indicated that there are differences in ‘espousing’ and ‘enacting’ in relation to health inequalities, with a focus in practice on integrating health and social care rather than in tackling the social determinants of health. In addition, it was found that Health and Wellbeing Boards have developed very differently at local levels, in terms of structures and practices. Papers are forthcoming in these areas.

Surindar’s career as an environmental health practitioner has been varied, encompassing the many fields of professional practice; urban and rural areas; and enforcement and advisory roles. Her most recent local authority role was as Health and Safety Team Leader at Birmingham City Council.

Her current research interests include environmental health conditions within the refugee camp in Calais, France, and health and wellbeing and planning policy analysis in England.

Teaching

Surindar teaches and/ or supervises students on the following courses;

  • MSc in Environmental Health
  • MSc in Public and Environmental Health Science
  • MSc in the Science of Occupational Health Safety and the Environment Environmental Health

Postgraduate supervision

Surindar is supervising several MSc dissertations on a range of environmental health and occupational health and safety topics. She is a qualitative researcher. Initial enquiries for PhD supervision should be addressed to s.k.dhesi@bham.ac.uk

Research

Research interests

  • Environmental Health
  • Public Health policy
  • Local government
  • Regulation
  • Politics and policy
  • Health inequalities
  • Qualitative methods
  • Evidence informed practice
  • Practitioner research

Other activities

  • A founder member of the UK Environmental Health Research Network (EHRNet)
  • Chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH)
  • Graduate member of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH)
  • Listed on the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR)
  • A co-opted member of the CIEH Research and Education Special Interest Group, representing EHRNet 

Publications

Barratt, Caroline, Robert Couch, A Page, Surindar Dhesi, and Jill Stewart. 2013. “An introduction to evidence based environmental health.” http://ukehrnet.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/research-briefing-1-introducing-evidence-based-eh/ : UK Environmental Health Network (EHRNet).

Coleman, A, and Surindar Dhesi. 2014. “Health and Wellbeing Boards differ in their levels of transparency, involvement and modes of operation.” In Democratic Audit: LSE Public Policy Group.

Couch, Robert , Jill Stewart, Caroline Barratt, Surindar Dhesi, and Alan Page. 2012. "Evidence, research and publication: a guide for environmental health professionals."  ebook: Lulu. http://www.lulu.com/gb/en/shop/rob-couch-and-jill-stewart-and-caroline-barratt-and-surindar-dhesi/evidence-research-and-publication-a-guide-for-environmental-health-professionals/ebook/product-20424432.html.

Dhesi, Surindar. 2011. “Seize the Moment”. Environmental Health News, 20.07.11.

Dhesi, Surindar. 2012. “Gaining a Hearing.” EHN Online no.  21.11.12

Dhesi, Surindar. 2013. "Health and Wellbeing Boards and Private Sector Housing." In Effective Strategies and Interventions: environmental health and the private housing, edited by Jill Stewart, 58-61. London: Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

Dhesi, Surindar. 2013. "The new public health system in England: opportunities for joint working." In Effective Strategies and Interventions: environmental health and the private housing sector, edited by Jill Stewart, 56-58. London: Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

Dhesi, Surindar. 2013. "Reflexivity – researching practice from within." Journal of Environmental Health Research no. 13 (1):83-87.

Dhesi, Surindar. 2014. "Eight lessons from the public health reforms." EHN Online no. 16.07.14.

Dhesi, Surindar. 2014. "The Role of Health and Wellbeing Boards." In Wellbeing: Policy and Practice, edited by Anneyce Knight, Vincent La Placa and Allan McNaught. Cheltenham: Lantern Publishing.

Dhesi, Surindar. 2014. "Specialist Public Health Function: Environmental Health " In Working in Public Health, edited by Fiona  Sim. London: Routledge.

Recent conferences 

Dhesi, Surindar. 2013. Developing Health and Wellbeing Boards and the invisibility of the environmental health profession. Paper read at HPPN Annual Conference (2-3 Sept 2013), at Magdalen College, University of Oxford.

Dhesi, Surindar. 2014. Them and Us: tensions in the new English public health system. Paper read at Health Policy and Politics Network Annual Conference, at Magdalen College, University of Oxford.

Warwick-Giles, Lynsey, and Surindar Dhesi. 2014. The troubled interface between Clinical Commissioning Groups and Health and Wellbeing Boards, as seen through ‘windows’. Paper read at Festival of Public Health, University of Manchester.

Dhesi, Surindar. 2014. Health and Wellbeing Boards and Environmental Health. Paper read at East Midlands Chartered Institute of Environmental Health 5+1 Public Health Event. Melton Mowbray.